Friday, July 01, 2016

That time of year again...

  The Potter County Fair entry forms are due today! Yes, my boys' rabbit and goat form are in, just barely but they are there....lol.... I mailed the rabbit papers yesterday so they could be postmarked by today and hand delivered the goat papers last evening too. Talk about last minute, but if you know me you know that is the way I am.
    Now the challenge is to get the boys to not change their minds about which rabbits and goats they want to show between now and fair week. In the last weeks they have changed their minds so many times. I guess that is one of the problems of having so many animals and telling you kids that they have to pick only a few to take to the fair. Trust me folks, the struggle is real. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Craziness...



Almost four months, and you'd think I'd have something to write about... or not?
Wow. I don't even know where to begin, really.
Daisy had boy/girl twins on March 5th. *K* named the babies Dana and Dexter.



Bubbles had twin bucks the next day (March 6th) so in three days we had three sets of twins.


Of course both does had their babies at night so no good pictures or video could be taken right away. The lighting in the barn is horrible even in the daytime.

I bought *K* another copper satin doe rabbit to replace the one that died a few months before. Her name is Cindy. She is much larger now but this picture is from the day I bought her.


I bought another milk goat. Her name is Willow and she a half sister to Bubbles.


Then this happened on April 4th! Yeah, crazy, right? But such is life here in North Central Pennsylvania.





... and did I mention that this happened at some point? No, probably not! Kittens! They are cute but I really could have done without.


... and then there was more of this on April 9th...


We had baby bunnies!

The baby goats played in the yard...

Buttercup had a baby boy that *Z* named Buddy, on April 16th.

   So, as you can see there is a whole lot of nothing going on here. Oh, and we built more garden boxes and got the garden area fenced in. YAY! Sounds really nice but I still haven't gotten anything planted in the boxes.
   Life just isn't turning out the way I had planned it, so long ago. It has taken a detour recently. As much as I've always felt I am raising my boys alone, even with their father living here, it is real now. I've known it was coming for at least the last two to three years so it isn't too much of a shock. I can honestly say it doesn't feel much different because he was never present anyhow. He wasn't really interested in any of the projects I was working on or even anything the boys wanted to show him or do with him. Financially things are going to be a little more stressed until I figure something out, but that department has always been stressful anyhow. At least now I know I'm the only one who will be spending, so it'll be easier to save for something, instead of hoping that he didn't spend all of the money I was trying to set aside for something we needed. Its going to take some getting used to but we (the boys and I) will be okay. If any of you have any suggestion on things I can do to make money from home, please let me know.  












Friday, March 04, 2016

The full circle of life here on the farm today...

   This morning I started the day mentally preparing myself to send the last of our pigs to the butcher. All the other times that we've sent pigs to be processed, I haven't really thought too much about it because the intended purpose for raising those pigs was for meat. This time, we are sending two sows that we kept for the purpose of raising babies. The thought of eating them never crossed my mind until recently when our financial situation, unexpectedly, changed. Red is three years old and Peaches (out of Red's first litter) is one and a half years old. They were both really good moms and had big litters (13 to 16 piglets each), so my heart is heavy today as I prepared to send them off to be processed. Once they are loaded onto the trailer and off the property, I will be okay. I will enjoy the meat just as much as I have any other pigs we've raised.
Peaches sharing her last meal with the ducks and chickens.
   Soon after starting my morning chores my heart lightened a little because I realized that Shay (one of *Z*'s goats) was definitely in labor and we would have new babies in a few hours. 

Shay cleaning her new babies.

Shay cleaning her babies.
   Actually it didn't even take two hours. Within an hour of me noticing that she was in labor she delivered a set of twins. A buck and a doe.

   When it came time to load the pigs, Red decided she really didn't want to go for a ride. She squeezed through between the barn door and the trailer and went for a walk about!

Red on her last walk around the farm.

Yep there she goes back the other way!! I was half expecting to see *T* following along behind her with a bucket of feed...


video

   I was not helping but was told that Red did NOT want to get in that trailer, and it took quite a lot of convincing before she finally did get in.

 
Red finally on the trailer.
I guess Peaches wasn't nearly as hard to load.
Peaches on the trailer.

So, with the pigs on their way down the road, it is time to focus on the new additions. Meet Sage and Sarah!


Sage and Sarah - Shay's twins.

Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Duck eggs...YAY!!

I've been looking for the ducks' nest, but couldn't find it. The way they've been acting I was sure they were laying, but I hadn't seen any eggs. I found their nest! There were three eggs in it yesterday and two this morning.

Given the choice of eating duck eggs or chicken eggs, I choose duck eggs.

Click here to see a post from 11 years ago today

Click here to see another post from 11 years ago today.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

I said I needed 200' of fencing ...

... and he asked if I really needed a 50' by 50' garden! He should know by now that by the time I say I want something I've already done the math. 


Apparently he forgets my stories about the garden that was started when I moved here, and the ones I had the first few years I lived here. I wish that I had taken pictures of it. They were lovely! Planted in rows and deep mulch between the rows and plants to keep the weeds down, so they were different than the one I have planned now. I want to have mostly raised beds now. After not having a garden at all for several years, I put in four raised bed three years ago and they worked really well for me. Now I am ready to expand the garden again.
   Here is a picture of my little garden from 2013

I have since fenced it, but the fencing I used is low enough that my goats have learned to jump over it and get into the garden. I bought 200' of welded wire fencing a couple of days ago and want to get started but I have to wait for the ground to thaw before we can drive fence posts. I could start making the boxes now.


   Nineteen days away from the first day of Spring and its 56° F. so we are getting closer to being able to start planting.
   The first of the baby goats are due to start arriving next week, so I'm hoping to be able to post lots of cute pictures soon. Last week one of my heavily pregnant does died suddenly one morning during chores. I have really don't have any idea what happened to her. She was having a hard time getting up on and I tried to help her up and all of a sudden she acted as if she couldn't breathe and she was gone just that quick. I was quite shocked by the whole thing. She hadn't really shown any signs that anything was wrong other than the day before had started to have a little trouble getting up on her own. She was due to kid March 11th but she didn't show any signs of being in labor, just having a hard time getting around and getting up on her own... the next morning she died.
   Two days ago I went out to the barn to find a set of twins had been born during the night and were dead. I had their mom's due date written down as the 17th of March, so I wasn't expecting them yet, but they did not appear to be born early. They were fulling developed an were even all dried off and Mom's udder looked like they had nursed. I'm really hoping that this isn't the way the whole kidding season goes.


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Real Talk Tuesday...

   Today I want to talk about phone calls. I'm not even sure where to start but I think its something that a lot of people don't understand about me. I really don't like making or receiving phone calls, especially if its an unknown number. For a couple of very person reasons the phone ringing, and me not expecting it, sets off one of my anxiety triggers. It has taken me a while to realize this but it takes me back quite a few years ago to a time when I was really struggling financially and almost every time the phone rang there was a bill collector on the other end. In that same time frame I had taken a second job to try and recover from my financial troubles and wouldn't you know that second job ended up being a receptionist at an animal shelter. Well, I'm not sure how many of you know this but probably 90 percent of people who call or come into a shelter, are not inquiring about an animals to adopt. In fact its quite the opposite!  They either have a box of kittens they say were left at their house (which I rarely ever believed), or they were calling because they had a dog who they couldn't (or should I say they didn't want to take the time to train properly, or they hadn't done their research on the breeds characteristics), or they were moving, or having a baby or whatever the excuse of the hour was. The job also required me to return phone calls that were left on the answering machine during hours that the shelter was not open. So majority of my time there at that job was spent just dreading that door opening, or the phone ringing, or even having to make a phone call because I never knew what craziness I was going to be facing at any given moment. Because of the policies at that shelter it wasn't like I could just accept every animal that was being brought in. There was quite a protocol that had to be followed and if it wasn't followed then I'd get into a lot of trouble. So that was very stressful for me.
   My main, full time, job I was working in retail. So, I was dealing with customers (and answering the phone on occasion) for at least 6 of the 8 hours that I was there. So, for the few hours I was home at night I REALLY didn't want to see or hear another human being. When the phone would ring I knew it was most likely a bill collector anyhow so I'd let the answering machine get it. If it was a friend I'd sometimes call them back right away and other times I'd just put it off, because I just wanted my alone time. Needless to say, this became a very bad habit. When I was home that my down time, away from humans. I did not want bothered. I lived alone with the exception of my animals, of course, and down here on this dead end road there was little traffic so t was the perfect escape.
   So that was like 11 or 12 years ago, so what is my problem with phone calls now?? Well, lest see. It could be the fact that I have small children and every time I am on the phone one or both of them think they need to be in my face asking or telling me something in the loudest voice possible. Or, maybe its that if the kids aren't making a fuss, I'm trying to get dinner ready, or its chore time, or maybe by this time its homework time, or possibly its bath, story time and bed time....
  Are any of you noticing that phone calls are just not normally fun for me? If you call me and leave a message and I respond back by sending you an email or private message on Facebook, instead of of an actual phone call - PLEASE DON'T TAKE IT PERSONAL. It has NOTHING to do with you, honest! Email and messaging are just easier for me most of the time. I might not always have a chance to call someone at the moment I think of it, but I may have a few seconds to send out a quick post and you can respond when it is convenient for you.
   Recently I had someone ridicule me and say that I was hiding behind messaging instead of calling and dealing with an issue over the phone. That wasn't the case at all. I really did want to address the issue with him but my daily schedule doesn't always work out so I have a spare half hour or so that it would have taken to resolve what he was confronting me on and quite frankly I felt the 'issue' he wanted to talk to me about wasn't my problem to begin with, so no I was not going to take time out of my day to make a phone call about something that I didn't want involved in.
   So, please, if you call someone and they don't return your call immediately or they send you a message in another form, try to be a little understanding. Its probably nothing personal against you.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Just plain tired...

   
Yesterday I was just so tired. At first I couldn't think of a reason why. I had been up until about 1:30 am but that really isn't anything out of the ordinary, for me.
   Since it was Saturday I was able to sleep in later than normal, so I hadn't even gotten out of bed until after 8 a.m. I didn't have time for my tea before going out to do barn chores, like I normally would, because there was a scheduled power outage that was to start at 8:30 and I needed to get the animals watered before we lost power.
   After chores we left to check on a friend who has  recently had surgery. When we got home I went to my room to read. With no electric there wan't much else I could do, right? I know, I know, there are lots of other things that I could have been doing, even with no electric. I have no idea how long I read before falling asleep but I woke up around 1:30 p.m. The electric had come back on at some point between 11:30 and 1:30. The rest of the house sounded pretty content (I could here the boys talking to their dad and the tv was on downstairs) so I just rolled over and went back to sleep. The next time I woke up it was 3 p.m. WOW!! "I have slept most of the day" is what I thought to myself. But a wise women once told me not to feel guilty about taking a nap because if you are able to sleep, your body must have needed it.
   Once I finally did get up I felt so drained. I had no energy at all, my mouth hurt, I just felt icky.
I was hungry but didn't feel like eating because my mouth hurt - I think I forgot to mention that I had six broken teeth extracted a week ago. There were supposed to be 7 pulled but somehow the dentist missed one, so I have to go back in tomorrow and have that one taken out - My gums really hadn't been bothering me, until yesterday, not even the first few days after the extractions.
   I'm wondering if everything was just finally catching up to me. I had been under a bit of emotional stress (over the chicken incident - refer to previous post) in the last few days. I hadn't really been eating much of anything, for a week, because really what can you eat when you have open holes on both sides of you top jaw.
   I hadn't felt that tired in nearly a year, since before my gallbladder surgery when I was so sick. Oh. and I hadn't had any tea or coffee at all yesterday either.... I didn't have any tea in the house and quite honestly I was too lazy to brew a pot of coffee.... yes I was that tired! Hahaha ...
   I did feel a little bit guilty because it was 64° outside and I had promised my bunnies that I'd clean their trays the next warm day we got. At least they are trays underneath they cages so the bunnies are not sitting in the poo, but the trays are getting full and need cleaned. But with the pee and poo frozen solid it isn't easy to do. Thankfully today I feel better and could clean the cages, but everything froze up again last night. I guess that is that will have to wait til another day. Spring has to be coming soon, right?
 
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